The idol of abortion

      This has nothing directly to do with homeschooling, but many Bible-believing homeschoolers are also involved in pro-life activities, and one of the problems that motivated many early homeschoolers was the promotion of abortion in the public schools. The fact is that one of the "idols" (and I mean that almost literally) of the postmodern humanist/feminist/leftist culture is the right to abortion. World Magazine, on May 12, 2007, reported that lawmakers in both houses of Congress introduced companion bills to enshrine in federal law a woman’s "fundamental right" to abort a child after the Supreme Court’s recent decision to uphold a ban on partial-birth abortions. Jerrold Nadler (D.-NY), the House’s chief sponsor of the bill, said the measure is necessary because "we can no longer rely on the Supreme Court to protect a woman’s constitutional right to choose." Of course, since the abortion advocates have not been able to win in the electoral process, they have depended on the courts to uphold their agenda, but they may find out that he who lives by the courts might just also die by the courts. And what is this "constitutional right"? The Constitution says absolutely nothing about abortion. That is just a figment of their imagination! Of course, Rep. Nadler will never say that what he actually means by a "woman’s constitutional right to choose" is to kill her unborn baby. World Magazine noted, "With Democrats in control of Congress the measure could pass, but a Bush veto is almost certain." Pray for President Bush! At the same time, a number of new Democrats elected in 2006 claimed to be "pro-life." We shall see. Duncan Hunter (R.-CA) has introduced H. R. 618, the Life at Conception Act, which both establishes personhood for the unborn and also asserts Congressional authority to protect the right to life of every unborn child according to the 14th Amendment. Martin Fox of the National Pro-Life Alliance noted, "With many new Democrat members of Congress claiming to be ‘pro-life,’ we must hold their feet to the fire and demand true pro-life action," saying that pressure must be brought to bear on Democrats like Heath Shuler (D.-NC), Charlie Wilson (D.-OH), Joe Donnelly (D.-IN), Jason Altmire (D.-PA), and Chris Carney (D.-PA), all of whom were elected on pro-life platforms but have not cosponsored the Life at Conception Act as yet, and concluding, "Pro-lifers must now firmly remind them what so many abortion apologists have learned the hard way in past elections–that support for abortion-on-demand or failure to defend human life will not be tolerated." Will they just talk the talk to be elected, or will they actually walk the walk? That is the question!

The Hate Crimes Act

     On Thursday, May 3, 2007, the United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 1592: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007. The Bush Administration has threatened a veto if the Senate also passes it. On May 7, 2007, Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman of the American Family Association, reported that "The Hate Crimes Act…gives homosexuals special rights not given to others. Homosexuals are considered a ‘protected class’ under the bill. An attempt was made to add senior citizens, pregnant women, prior victims, children under 18, the unborn, court witnesses and members of our armed forces to the bill, giving them the same ‘protected class’ given homosexuals. The Democrats defeated all amendments, reserving the ‘protected class’ for homosexuals only." What this means is that under the bill if someone attacked and beat up a Christian because he was a Christian, that person would be punished as the normal law prescribes (although there is a possibility that some leftist judge would throw the case out saying that the "Christian" probably had it coming to him). However, if a thief broke into your house and you injured him in trying to protect your family and your property, and if he was a homosexual, and if it could be proven that you had expressed an open opinion that homosexuality is a sin, then you might actually be arrested, tried, and given a punishment worse than what he would receive for breaking and entering because he would be of a "protected class." In fact, if the pro-homosexual rights people had their way, homeschool parents teaching their children that homosexuality is wrong because the Bible says so would be a "hate crime."

Out of the Mouths of Babes

      Mike Palm sent me the following. "Did you ever have a child make you proud and feel ashamed of your self at the same time? Not long ago the neighbor boy, who is seven, came over to play with my grandson, who is six. He brought some of his games for the Play Station 2. He said that one of them might not work because it was covered with smuts from his little brother (whatever smuts is). My daughter wiped it off and tried it and it did not work. My grandson said, ‘Let’s pray to God. He can make anything work.’ He then bowed his head and prayed. My daughter wiped it off again and tried it and it worked. My grandson then bowed his head and thanked God. How often do we do that? How many times do we ask God for some thing and when we receive it immediately thank Him for it? Matt. 18:3: ‘And said, Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.’"

A Biblical worldview and homeschooling

     In her "Home Where They Belong" column of the The Homeschool Minute weekly e-newsletter (May 2, 2007) from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Gena Suarez, TOS Publisher, wrote, "What’s a ‘biblical worldview’ and why do we need one? You hear that a lot in homeschooling circles. Perhaps the phrase is over-used. I think in the Garden of Eden, it would have been a moot point; there was only one view there – God’s. To a Christian, there’s only one view – the one straight from God’s word. It’s the only option. The Bible is not subject to private interpretation; it says what it means and means what it says. We live in a fallen world and every day we encounter challenges, trials. How do we handle them? With our own personal opinions, feelings and subjective thoughts about the matter? Anyone can do that! And you’ll have a hundred different interpretations! Or do we go to His infallable, inerrant Word? All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly finished unto good works (2 Tim. 3:16-17). How much more plain can it get? We use Scripture as our ‘lens’ from which not only do we view but also live – 100% of what we do, say, feel and act upon must be governed by God’s word. This results in maturity in Christ. I pray for this over and over. Lord, make me more like You; I’ve not arrived (far from it) but Lord, make me like You! Just make me perfect like You! And you know what? Begging God for becoming like Him is not enough. Scream for it all you may, shout for wisdom from the rooftops, but it is all vain unless you are willing to obey. It starts with my obedience to His Word. If I love Him, I will obey Him (John 14:15). We literally have to give ourselves over to Him and die to self. His Word is not merely paper and ink; it’s life. The "secret" is to obey this Word….obeying Christ Himself. True wisdom starts with the fear of God (see Proverbs 1:7). Join me in reading the 14th chapter of John today for context. And have a wonderful, CHRIST-filled week. Let’s set our ‘view’ on His word – and then act upon it." (If you would like to subscribe to either TOS or the Homeschool Minute, you can email Gena at publisher@thehomeschoolmagazine.com ; phone TOS at 1.888.718.HOME; or visit their website at http://www.thehomeschoolmagazine.com .)

Coming to a public school near you, part 2

      On April 29, 2007, WorldNetDaily reported that a nationally distributed training video produced by a homosexual advocacy group, which claims it’s been shown on more than 100 public television stations, advises teachers to promote homosexuality as normal and healthy to children as young as kindergarten age, regardless of what values the child has been taught at home. "We are asking kids to believe this [homosexuality] is right. Not as a matter of moral principle, but as a matter of, we’re educating them and this is part of what we consider to be a healthy education," one unidentified teacher said during the videotaped meeting of educators preparing to teach – or as their critics charge, "brainwash" – their students. This response was to a question from another teacher who wondered how to approach homosexual advocacy when a student comes from a background of biblical teaching, that is, that homosexuality is a sin. "I don’t know what to do about this but, as a school are we saying that kids have to support this? I guess that’s what it sounds like to me that we’re saying. If a child comes from a background that says homosexuality is not correct, are we telling that child that they’re supposed to, this is what you are supposed to do?" asked the teacher. The answer was a resounding yes. Brian Camenker, who heads the Mass Resistance organization, has publicized the videos, said people are flooding his office with calls, asking what they can do. "They’re physically sickened by watching that. People with kids are wondering is this what’s going to happen to them in schools in America," Camenker told WND. "The reaction we’ve gotten has been overwhelming. The videos are available for viewing on the Mass Resistance website. The excerpts show actual footage of teachers indoctrinating children that homosexuality is "healthy education." Camenker said the 78-minute video was produced and distributed by homosexual activists and is "meant to be a training video for homosexual activist teachers across the country." Although ‘It’s Elementary’ was made over a decade ago, it’s still a major training film for homosexual activists, is still being shown in schools across the country, and has become a standard feature at homosexual teachers’ conferences. A LifeSiteNews report quoted Stephen Bennett, who runs Stephen Bennett Ministries as warning about the "brainwashing" shown in the video. Bennett told LifeSiteNews he was horrified, and "had tears in my eyes" after watching. "It’s so heartbreaking to see little kids brainwashed," he said. The homosexual activist strategy is stated plainly in the film’s promotion. "Waiting to teach children to accept differences of all kinds until middle school or high school is too late; statistics show that by sixth, seventh and eight grades, harmful stereotypes already have begun to take hold …" And there is still some "Christian" somewhere who thinks that it is good to send his impressionable children into public schools to be "salt and light"?

Coming to a public school near you (file this one under reasons to homeschool)

      Sex education in public schools has been a controversial issue since it was first introduced and is one of the major reasons that many early homeschooling families began taking their children out of public schools back in the 1980s. It has NOT gotten any better! Oh yes, the Bush administration has pushed its Title V abstinence-only sex education, but leftist lawmakers both in Congress and the states, backed by the nation’s number one abortion provider Planned Parenthood, are pushing for what they call "comprehensive, medically accurate" sex education (that’s a euphemism for "non-judgmental" or in other words immoral sex education). According to the Apr. 28, 2007, issue of World Magazine, State Senator Brad Zaun, a Republican in the Iowa legislature, read from Safer Choices, Level 1, (one such "comprehensive, medically accurate" sex education curriculum approved for use in Iowa schools) during a floor session of the Iowa State Senate. I will not repeat here what he read (it would be considered pornographic in some circles), but the magazine reported that Democrats and others in the chamber "fidgeted, some had their heads down." Another Republican, Paul McKinley said that an outraged parent later told him that she was surprised that Democrats and three crossover Republicans voted to approve for classroom use a curriculum so graphic that it made adult lawmakers squirm like red-faced schoolboys. Lawmakers in Washington and Colorado have also passed bills requiring this "comprehensive" approach. The Washington measure actually bans "abstinence only" education. Furthermore, governors in six states–Ohio (the new Democrat governor there, Ted Strickland, is a Methodist minister, but his "religion" seems only skin deep, and he got elected by talking conservative even though his voting record in Congress is very, very liberal), Wisconsin, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Montana, and New Jersey–are refusing federal abstinence education funding claiming that it does not work. And the Democrat-controlled Congress, led by Barbara Lee, a California Democrat, and Christopher Shays, a Connecticut "so-called Republican" (i.e., a RINO–Republican In Name Only, whose idea of "statesmanship" apparently is cave into the liberal Democrats and give them everything they want), is seeking to pass a bill that would create federal funding for this "comprehensive sex education." Again, the hue and cry is that "abstinence only does not work but endangers children by keeping them ignorant." Yet, the results of a study commissioned by Congress and conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., do not support that conclusion. Also, a 2003 Zogby poll revealed that nine in ten parents want teens to be taught that sex involves values, a concept that is largely absent from "comprehensive" sex-ed programs which do not criticize casual sex and present sex as simply a physical process in which the main goal is to avoid pregnancy and disease. Keep your children home where they can keep themselves pure!

Various homeschool resources that you might find helpful

     Math resource for homeschoolers: I recently received the following email from Art Reed. "Dear Homeschool Educator: I recently retired after serving as Saxon’s Curriculum Advisor to homeschool parents for more than eight years, and I have finally written the book many of you asked me to write. The book will provide you with the same advice and assistance I have given you these past eight years, and I trust it will also help homeschool families successfully select and correctly use John Saxon’s math books – and save money! Please visit my website at: www.homeschoolwithsaxon.com . The book contains answers to questions homeschool parents have asked over the years. It also contains advice on how to save money and use John Saxon’s books to their fullest. While on the website, you can preview the book’s table of contents in addition to several selections from the book. Our introductory price of U.S. $19.95 includes free shipping anywhere in the United States. We are also including a free subscription to my 2007 advisory Homeschool Newsletter for those who buy the book during this introductory offer. The newsletter will offer you useful web links, the latest tips, suggestions, and ideas, as well as important notices about changes in editions, errors noted in the books, support services, etc. If you know of a friend or colleague also using John Saxon’s math books, who would be interested in the book, please forward a copy of this email to them as well. Thanks. Art Reed." You can contact Art at art.reed@homeschoolwithsaxon.com .

     Home School Helper: This free newsletter from Bob Jones University Press (Bob Jones University, Greenville, SC 29614-0060; hshelper@bju.edu ; www.bjupress.com ) always has some interesting information, even for those who do not use BJUP curriculum. The April, 2007 (Vol. 19, No. 2) issue has a great article on internet safety by Dr. Dan Olinger, who is a professor at Bob Jones University.

     Homeschooling Parent Magazine: I take a lot of homeschool-related magazines. Unfortunately, I just do not have time to read them all and storage space is growing smaller, so I have tried to cut back. Recently, I received a free subscription to Homeschooling Parent by answering a survey. Volume 7, Issue 5m has the homeschool friendly guide to summer camp, as well as information about education on the road, houseboat homeschooling, and other interesting articles. The address to contact the magazine is now at P. O. Box 628, Crawfordsville, IN 47933 ( www.homeschoolingparent.com ).

     Home School Enrichment Magazine: Another homeschooling magazine in which I find a lot of good material is Home School Enrichment ( www.HomeSchoolEnrichment.com ). The May/June, 2007, issue has columns on Family Matters by S. M. Davis, History and Heritage by Amy Puetz, Profiles in Christianity and Science by Ray and Gale Lawson, among others;several feature articles, including an excellent one by Katharine Trauger on "Homeschooling Parents: Well-Meaning Amateurs?"; and reviews of homeschool resources.

     Catalogues: Recently, I received the 2007 Logos Catalog of Classical and Christian Education Materials for Private Schools and Home Schools (110 Baker St., Moscow, ID 83843-4005; 1-866-562-2174; materials@logosschool.com ; www.logosschool.com ). It looks as if it has some great resources. I also received the 2007 Bethlehem Books Catalog (10194 Garfield St. S., Bathgate, ND 58216; 1-800-757-6831; www.bethlehembooks.com ). Bethlehem Books has some of the greatest historical fiction that you will ever find.

They’re at it again!

      Do you remember the Michigan school system a few years ago that had an emergency drill in which the "bad guys" were homeschoolers? World Magazine reported that on Mar. 22, 2007, New Jersey’s Burlington Township High School had such an emergency drill in which the mock "gunmen" according to the scenario were "members of a right-wing fundamentalist group called ‘The New Crusaders’ who don’t believe in separation of church and state" and were taking extreme action "because the daughter of one had been expelled for praying before class." Now, according to the Burlington County Times, the mock-terrorists did not refer to religion during the drill, and a police spokesman later said that the scenario script neither referred to religion in general nor Christianity in particular, but to "anybody who was an extremist." The school district even posted a statement on its website, saying, "The scenario chosen was intended to be generic in nature and never intended to offend any group, affiliation or religious belief. The term ‘Christian’ was not included in the scenario….The Township and the School District regret any insensitivity that might have been inferred by this action." All well and good, but as David Boudwin of the Fountain of Life Worship Center noted, "If prayer isn’t religion, what is it?" Then, school Superintendent Christ Manno told reporters that the school needed to "practice under conditions as real as possible," which raises the question, would Burlington Township School really expell a student for praying in class? Why is it that you never hear of these mock drills in which Muslim jihadists are pictured as "extremists"? After all, was it not Muslim terrorists who drove airplanes into the World Trade Center in New York City? Or any other "politically correct" group? Think of the outcry! Why is it that the authorities always think that they have to pick on groups such as homeschoolers and "right-wing fundamentalists"?

One sad but necessary reason for homeschooling

     An article posted on WorldNetDaily.com on April 25, 2007, reported that dozens, perhaps hundreds, of students in several Sacramento area school districts are being penalized by school officials for objecting to the homosexual advocacy "Day of Silence," according to a law firm handling many complaints. The issue arose during the annual "Day of Silence,"at Inderkum, Rio Linda and San Juan high schools. This is an event during which students go around school during the day without speaking, and they hand out cards stating they are protesting the "discrimination" against the homosexual lifestyle. It is promoted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network organization, which advocates for the homosexual lifestyle and promotes educating children in that choice. It is estimated that 3,000-4,000 Sacramento area students remained out of class to protest the GLSEN event. A lot of students were suspended for a time while others were just kicked out of school and told to go home for the day. Some students’ parents came with them to school the next day, and said, "My understanding is that my student was suspended." In some cases, the secretary said, "We have no record of that." Other schools had been suspending students who objected to the pro-homosexual advocacy, but then abruptly halted in the middle of the day. Another school "rounded up" several students days later and held them for three hours. At least one school district looks as if they are digging in and not going to remove or expunge, suspensions. On the following day, students in some of the schools participated in the "Day of Truth," organized by the Alliance Defense Fund to counter the GLSEN event. Those students wear T-shirts and pass out cards during non-instructional time with messages such as: "Silence isn’t freedom; it’s a constraint." At Rio Linda High, officials said students were not suspended for wearing Christian message on their shirts, but were suspended for not removing the shirts. And a local newspaper reader wondered: "Hmmm, the students were not suspended for wearing anti-gay T shirts, but were disciplined for not removing them? Sounds like typical double speak to me. Were the other students suspended for not speaking?"

More news about German homeschooled student

     Homeschooler flees state custody: On April 23, 2007, Bob Unruh of WorldNetDaily.com reported that Melissa Busekros, the schoolgirl taken by police and placed in a psychiatric hospital because she was diagnosed with a "school phobia" and was being homeschooled, had fled state custody to make a midnight trip back to her own family, according to Joel Thornton, president of The International Human Rights Group. "At 3 a.m., in Erlangen, Germany, Melissa reached her home to the surprise of her entire family," Thornton told WND. "Earlier in the morning Melissa left a note with the foster family where she was being held and began the journey to her family. She left of her own volition." Thornton said April 23 is Melissa’s birthday, and on turning 16, "this gives her broader rights than it does in America. It gives her more of a voice in her own custody. So, she decided to return home. In fact, if the state police come for her again she is prepared to refuse to go on the advice of her attorney," Thornton said. He reported Melissa was in contact with her legal adviser, Johannes Hildebrandt, to let him know she had returned home, and he is preparing to be at the family home in Erlangen if needed. Thornton has told WND many Christian families who object to the German government’s sexualized education system are facing persecution, too. Michael Farris, founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association, said the German government actually was creating for Melissa the "parallel society" which it claims to despise. "When she was homeschooled [at home] Melissa got to see her friends, got to go to church, be out and about," he said. "Now she’s being taught the same curriculum but she’s entirely isolated. It’s the German government that has robbed her of her normal life, including life with a family, which is supposed to be a child’s right under the international law that Germany supposedly adheres to," he said. Farris said he believes the German treatment of Christian homeschoolers is the "edge of the night that’s coming" for believers. "Germany is the only Western democracy taking this incredibly hard-line approach, but there are growing clouds on a number of national horizons," Farris told WND. For the U.S., Farris has called for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to protect the right of parents to educate their children at home. With more than 80,000 families who are members, HSLDA is the largest homeschool association in the world. The latest news from WorldNetDaily.com on this (Sat., Apr. 28, 2007) said, "German authorities have told a lawyer for a teenager who was confined in a psychiatric hospital because she was homeschooled she can remain with her family for now, a new report has confirmed. Joel Thornton, president of the International Human Rights Group told WND that the authorities’ letter to the lawyer said they plan to ‘de-escalate’ the case so that Melissa Busekros could remain in her home."